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Let's talk about sustainably sourcing our gemstones & diamonds

Find out a little more about our ethical approach to sourcing the gemstones for your jewellery.

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Written By Jane
Sep 29, 2021 3:22:39 PM

Find out a little more about our ethical approach to sourcing the gemstones for your jewellery.

 

If the sustainability of gem stones and diamonds is a key concern when you are purchasing your jewellery, let us tell you a little about how we approach this in the most sustainable, conflict free and fair way we see possible.

We aim to give you, the customer, all the information you need to make an informed decision for yourself – read the answers to our most commonly asked questions below.  

Where do your diamonds come from?

It’s really important that all jewellers know how to answer this question.

Stephen Einhorn only uses conflict free diamonds which have come through the Kimberley process. These are diamonds which have been placed in tamper proof containers and certified by this United Nations process, protecting the diamond trade from Blood Diamonds. All of our diamonds are certified which means we can tell you where they were cut, as well as all of the technical details about their quality, (the 4Cs of colour, cut, clarity and carat weight).

Can you tell me where the diamond in my ring came from?

This is a slightly different question to where all of the stones are from. Jewellers have been known to stretch the truth slightly and tell customers that the place of origin will be on their diamond certificate. This isn’t true. Stones are sorted into containers with similarly sized stones before being shipped to a cutting centre, where they will be mixed with other, similarly sized stones from other countries. The centre is what will be shown on your certificate. And as far as we are aware there aren’t any diamond mines in Antwerp… Jewellers should be able to explain this to you, and assure you that all their diamonds are Kimberley certified.

If you really want to know the provenance of your diamond and it’s important to you, it’s possible for us to source you Canadian diamonds. The mining conditions are more controlled because they are mined  and cut in Canada. The choice as the customer is yours. In Canada they use open cast mining. This creates huge ecological damage to the earth but at the same time employs local communities. You have to make your own choice.

 Are there any other diamonds that I can buy?

Yes we can also supply Lab grown diamonds that we like to call cultured diamonds. These diamonds are made from compressed carbon and look and are exactly the same as mined diamonds.

There is a very strong debate as to whether these diamonds are more ethical. Lab grown diamonds use a lot of energy which is probably not renewable. The lab grown diamond industry also employ far fewer people. Laboratory diamonds do not have such a stable re-selling market as mined diamonds. They are generally looked on as the poor relation and therefore we don’t know if they will hold their value.

It is however possible to get a lot more for your money with a cultured diamond. If you are buying a diamond to wear for your lifetime this is probably not something that will bother you. We feel sure that eventually more and more people will want this option. Once most energy is renewable it will be the preferred option for eco-minded people. What you buy is up to you and what your values and ethics are. We can provide both types of diamonds.

Where do your precious stones come from?

There is no ratified treaty for the certification of other stones besides diamonds, but jewellers should be able to talk to you about which countries they do and do not accept stones from and how well they trust their stone dealers.

Here at Stephen Einhorn we have been using the same dealers for years who adhere to our own ethical codes about the provenance of stones. We do not buy stones from areas of conflict, where the sale of stones is used to destabilise legitimate governments, or to fund the sales of arms. As the geopolitical climate changes so often, this means keeping abreast of current affairs and keeping in constant contact with our trusted dealers.

We have long avoided Burmese rubies for example, whilst the country was controlled by the military Junta. It is no longer, but we still do not buy stones from there after the treatment of the Rohingya people.

What is the most sustainable way to source the gem stones and diamonds for my jewellery?

There are pros and cons to a lot of gem sourcing and production methods, but another option to avoid further mining the earth’s resources is to recycle the gems from unwanted and second hand jewellery.

At Stephen Einhorn we offer a re-design service. Simply bring us your old and unwanted pieces and our master jewellers will work with you to create something new and exciting that better fits your personal style.

 

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